“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.“
In essence, no government entity is allowed to search or take your property unless a warrant is issued. Further, a warrant can not be issued unless there is probable cause of illegal activity supported by testimony and then the warrant must describe the place to be search and the person(s) or things to be taken.
So, are Americans secure in the persons, houses, papers, and effects from illegal government searches and seizures?
The amount of data collected by the Federal government about it’s citizens is staggering. Just by examining how much they, obviously, know about YOU should raise eyebrows and cause concern.
- The Internal Revenue Service requires, under penalty of law, that Americans disclose their personal finances to a government entity.
- The Patriot Act allows the government to spy on and record the activities of American citizens without a search warrant, probable cause, or even so much as a witness of illegal activity.
- The National Defense Authorization Act allows a government entity to to seize an American and hold him/her, indefinitely, without a trial.
- The National Defense Resources Preparedness Act allows government entities to identify Americans and their resources.
- The American Community Survey allows a government entity to go far beyond a typical census by requiring Americans divulge all sorts of personal information regarding their families, housing, employment, transportation and a whole lot more.
The intent of the fourth amendment was to ensure that no future politician(s) could use the United States government as a way to commandeer the personal property of the American citizen in the name of national defense or security. Over time, politicians have managed to gain unfettered access to every American’s personal financial records. They are monitoring all forms of public and private communications within the country and using Globally Positioned Satellites (GPS) to track all vehicles and cell phone usage.
National Defense Or Capital Offense?
National security is about preserving the American way of life and the rights of it’s citizens guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
However, the Patriot Act allows government entities to spy on American citizens,without warrant or probable cause, in the name of national security; the National Defense Authorization Act allows a government entity to seize and hold an American citizen indefinitely, without a trial, in the name of national security; and the National Defense Resource Preparedness Act allows government entities to identify and procure any and every person, resource, and material available, in peacetime and in times of national emergency, in the name of national security.
None of these legislative acts are new but each one represents the nullification, not the protection, of the fourth amendment. Legislatively speaking, the Federal government has managed to declare ownership of everything on American soil. They can, literally, identify and seize whatever and whomever they please, all in the name of national defense.
How does this protect the freedoms and rights guaranteed to American citizens by the United States Constitution?
The American Tariff
Although most personal tax information on individuals is not a matter of public record, statistics compiled by the Internal Revenue Service , most certainly, are. These statistics are gathered by politicians looking for issues to stump on, special interest groups looking for a way to forward their agendas, businesses looking for ways to save money, and news media outlets looking for boosts in their viewing audiences. When the data collected from income tax returns is used as fodder to create and/or maintain socioeconomic division, it is nothing but a cover-up for the federal government’s failure to create and/or maintain economic prosperity in America for all.
For almost 100 years American citizens have been subjected to a federally mandated tariff based on their income. The federal government taxes individual citizens of each State, then, decides what criteria(s) States or individuals must meet to get some of it back. But the federal government collects more than just tax dollars, it collects over 2,000 pages of personal information about Americans in exchange for tax deductions. Every question in the tax code equates to a trade of sorts; a portion of your personal information for a portion of your tariff returned to you.
In essence, not only does the federal government unnecessarily violate the fourth amendment every year, the information it gathers is used by politicians to pit American against American, only to cover their own inadequacies.
It would be comical if not for the complete naivety of Americans who, immediately, become outraged by the thought of Google using collected statistical data to spam them to death with unsolicited advertisements, yet, show no disdain when politicians do the exact same thing.
I was introduced to the twisted logic of a government bureaucracy gone wild in my fight with the Department of Commerce and their response to my refusals to fill-out and return the American Community Survey. When I expressed concerns about privacy and identity theft by divulging personal information like: “when do I go to work?”, “what kind of car do I drive?”, “how long am I gone?”, and “is anyone else on the premises while I’m away?”, I was met with unreasonable force. Two of the five Census workers who visited my house threatened to come back with federal marshals to have me arrested for refusing to comply, so I politely told them to leave my property and closed the door. Eventually, after six months, the Census Bureau called to inform me that my “case was closed” but also informed me that this will occur again at a later date.
What shocked me the most is that, the Department of Commerce is using the American Community Survey as a statistical base for dispersing American resources demographically. In other words, they use the data they receive to create statistics so politicians know what to government program or idea to “sell” Americans in regards to which area of the country they are in. Imagine that! The government using tax money to sell unsolicited programs to it’s citizenry.
The Final Nail In The Coffin
The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obama-care) was not designed to protect patients or make health care affordable, it was designed to give the federal government the unprecedented power penalize (or seize the assets of) Americans who remain uninsured.
Far more insidious is in the fact that this legislation allows unelected federal government cabinet officials to not only regulate, but mandate what services health insurance carriers must provide. It can, literally, mandate premium costs of private insurance carriers by forcing them to offer costly services their customers do not want or need, such as the recently enacted birth control mandate.
Furthermore, it creates even more unelected federal bureaucracies in charge of collecting personal medical information to identify potential risks and insurance liabilities. Eventually, every doctor’s visit, hospital trip, prescription drug, and treatment option that is documented for insurance payment purposes will turn into a public statistic.
Insurance companies already use these statistics to determine their costs and employers, who offer health insurance as a benefit of employment, perform random drug, alcohol, and tobacco tests on their employees as a condition of employment to keep costs as low as possible. How long will it take for the government to follow suit? Is it really all that far-fetched to expect that the federal government may need to cut costs in the near future and, as a result, Americans will be forced into health screening exams, classified and categorized by health risk and liability, and charged (or taxed) accordingly?
In case you’re not following closely, Obama-care will allow unelected federal bureaucrats to search, without warrant or probable cause, through the medical records of Americans. If you are non-compliant of any health care mandate the federal government legislates, it can seize your property through taxes.
Legislated Out Of Existence
The fourth amendment existed long before the United States federal government amended the Constitution, allowing it to continually tax citizens based on their income, in 1913. It existed before the wars that begot legislation giving U.S. government entities the power to identify and seize personal property in the name of national defense. When the fourth amendment was recognized and respected by government entities, the Census Bureau was limited to enumeration of population.
Isn’t it hypocritical of government officials to become outraged when their personal correspondences are stolen and released for public scrutiny or used against them in a political campaigns while they, themselves, have created or voted for the very legislation that usurps the fourth amendment rights of the average American citizen?
Isn’t it ironic that government officials never fully consider the potential consequences of their own legislative acts in the wrong hands? Seriously, where does this put Americans if [insert rival political party] abuse these legislative acts, using them against the people?
As it stands, the American people are riding the whims of an ever-changing federal bureaucracy of people who consider themselves intellectually superior to the nation’s forefathers as well as the people they govern. They disregard the intents and purposes of the basic framework laid out in the United States Constitution, meant to limit government size and scope thus reducing interference and control over the lives of American citizens. If lawmakers continue to legislate Constitutional amendments out of existence then what is the point of even having a Constitution?
“The Death of American privacy did not come quickly, rather, it suffered a slow poisoning and then, just ceased to be.“
– Gary Hall (2012) –